The Role of Women in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"

Topics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer Pages: 4 (1255 words) Published: March 6, 2013
American literature|
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn|
The Role of Women|

American Literature has always been about men and for men. In this essay, we are going to analyze the women’s role in the book, as inferior and weaker gender. |

"American literature is male. To read the canon of what is currently considered classic American literature is perforce to identify as male; Our literature neither leaves women alone nor allows them to participate." Judith Fetterley (Walker, 171) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel about boys and for boys. As the name says, there are “adventures”, boys like adventures, not ladies. The role of the women in the American literature has been always victim of sexism and discrimination. There are always men who play the principal role. We can see that in Ulysses, by James Joice (1922); Moby Dick by Herman Melville (1815) or The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925). In the previous work of Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), there are a clear division between men and women too. The main women in Huck's life all fulfill the same basic role, trying to "civilize" Huck - all without success.

This sexual discrimination is based on being the physically weaker gender and thus leading to society's negative view of women. In chapter XI, Huck tried to seems a girl and enter to a little shanty to talk to a forty years old woman to get some information about what was happening in St. Petersburg in his absence. The lady discovered that he was a boy for different reasons. The most important thing is what she said to him: “when you set out to thread a needle don’t hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that’s the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t’other way. And when you throw at a rat or anything, hitch yourself up a tiptoe and fetch your hand up over your head as awkward as you can, and miss your rat about six or...
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